Tag: biography

Shelf Control #75 – 23/02/2024

This is the third Shelf Control feature I have shared in 2024, and it features yet another non-fiction historical book! I promise that it’s different to those I featured in the series so far this year, so stay tuned to find out what today’s feature is.

Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a celebration of the unread books on our shelves! The idea is to pick a book you own but haven’t read and write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

If you want to read more about the Shelf Control feature, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

 

Henry VIII – Abigail Archer

 

 

Genre: Non-fiction / History

Pages: 116

Audience: Adult

Publisher: New Word City Inc

Publication Date: 12 Jan 2015

 

 

Goodreads – Henry VIII

Henry VIII ruled England from 1509 to 1547. As a young man, he was fond of sports and hunting, and was said to be uncommonly handsome. Standing more than six feet tall, he loomed large in the lives and minds of his subjects as he navigated his country through the tricky diplomatic and military hazards of the sixteenth century. A man of enormous appetites, Henry conducted affairs with many women, married six, and executed two. His infatuation with Anne Boleyn set in motion a chain of events that reshaped the church in England and eroded the dominance of Rome. But the popular image of Henry as a crude tyrant, dispatching courtiers, enemies, and wives with gusto, obscures a more nuanced and fascinating character. He was a true Renaissance king who presided over one of Europe’s greatest courts and nudged Western civilization onto a new course. Here, from Abigail Archer, author of The New York Times bestseller Elizabeth I, is the story of Henry VIII.

 

My Thoughts

So far in my 2024 Shelf Control posts, I’ve featured World War II and Ancient Egypt as historical topics of interest. Today’s feature is a brand-new time period completely. Tudor England, and particularly the lives of Henry VIII and his wives is a topic that I could go back to again and again!

At only 116 pages, I’m interested to see if the book is more of a summary of the history or whether it goes into any kind of detail. I personally enjoy detail, but I’m expecting Henry VIII to be on the lighter side. There’s nothing wrong with this either; if already shared reviews are anything to go by, there are some interesting tidbits to pick up from this book.

Books like this one great for those who want a refresher on a topic. Or, if you want to explore it for the first time to see if it’s of interest, that would be a reason too. I already know that I enjoy this topic. For me it is a refresher, but also I’m looking to pick up the book and share my thoughts to help other readers decide if this is the book for them!

Do you read historical or fiction books about Tudor England? Is it a topic that interests you? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Shelf Control #74 – 09/02/2024

For those of us done with another working week – congrats on making it! If not, well, sorry… 😅 As you all know by now, I regularly share a Shelf Control feature post. It’s a great way to get excited about upcoming books on my reading list and share with you exactly what inspired me to add them in the first place!

As usual, I’ll share the official blurb and then we’ll get into the book that’s made it into this Shelf Control post!

Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a celebration of the unread books on our shelves! The idea is to pick a book you own but haven’t read and write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

If you want to read more about the Shelf Control feature, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

 

The Woman Who Would be King – Kara Cooney

 

Genre: Non-fiction / History

Pages: 298

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Crown Publishing

Publication Date: 14 Oct 2014

 

 

Goodreads – The Woman Who Would be King

An engrossing biography of the longest-reigning female pharaoh in Ancient Egypt and the story of her audacious rise to power in a man’s world.

Hatshepsut, the daughter of a general who took Egypt’s throne without status as a king’s son and a mother with ties to the previous dynasty, was born into a privileged position of the royal household. Married to her brother, she was expected to bear the sons who would legitimize the reign of her father’s family. Her failure to produce a male heir was ultimately the twist of fate that paved the way for her inconceivable rule as a cross-dressing king. At just twenty, Hatshepsut ascended to the rank of king in an elaborate coronation ceremony that set the tone for her spectacular twenty-two year reign as co-regent with Thutmose III, the infant king whose mother Hatshepsut out-maneuvered for a seat on the throne. Hatshepsut was a master strategist, cloaking her political power plays with the veil of piety and sexual expression. Just as women today face obstacles from a society that equates authority with masculinity, Hatshepsut had to shrewdly operate the levers of a patriarchal system to emerge as Egypt’s second female pharaoh.

Hatshepsut had successfully negotiated a path from the royal nursery to the very pinnacle of authority, and her reign saw one of Ancient Egypt’s most prolific building periods. Scholars have long speculated as to why her images were destroyed within a few decades of her death, all but erasing evidence of her rule. Constructing a rich narrative history using the artifacts that remain, noted Egyptologist Kara Cooney offers a remarkable interpretation of how Hatshepsut rapidly but methodically consolidated power—and why she fell from public favor just as quickly. The Woman Who Would Be King traces the unconventional life of an almost-forgotten pharaoh and explores our complicated reactions to women in power.

 

My Thoughts

This is the second non-fiction book that I have featured in this series already in 2024. The last book was based around the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Today’s feature is a completely different period and topic, but it’s one that I’m no less excited to read.

Unlike my previous feature Auschwitz, I have a lot less knowledge on Egyptian pharaohs in general. I have watched some documentaries in the past, but it’s not a topic I have read about before. It’s for this reason that I added The Woman Who Would be King in the first place. Of course, I am also fascinated by the prospect of a female Pharaoh as they were few and far between.

Hatshepsut isn’t the first name that may jump to your mind when you think of famous female Pharaohs. Cleopatra is probably the most well-known, and she has been the feature of some of the documentaries I have watched in the past. I deliberately wanted to choose another famous female in order to broaden my knowledge.

I’m hoping I go on to enjoy this book as much as I think I will, as it is a period of history I would be interested in exploring in more detail in future!

Have you read The Woman Who Would be King or any other great non-fiction books about Pharaohs?

 

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Sunday Summary – 26th November 2023

Happy Sunday night (if ever there is such a thing?) and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary instalment. I’ve had a productive week of reading and listening to audiobooks, which I’ll get onto below!

Firstly, I like to take the opportunity to share the blog posts I’ve already prepared and published this week. My first post of the week was a book review of The Appeal by Janice Hallett. If you enjoy complex mysteries where you need to read between the lines, multi-perspectives and/or mixed media books, then I strongly suggest you check it out!

This week’s Friday feature was a Well, I Didn’t Know That! post. In that post, I revived a habit of listening to podcasts and featured Philippa Gregory’s Normal Women podcast. Philippa is publishing a book with the same name in February next year. If you want some insight into one of the topics of the podcast, or more generally, check out that post!

 

Books Read

 

The Boy Who Followed His Father to Auschwitz

In my last Sunday Summary update, I had about 100 pages left of this historical non-fiction book. That’s where I began reading this week.

The Boy Who Followed His Father to Auschwitz is every bit as good as I thought it would be! Although the tales of this book are harrowing, the narrative is intriguing and I was rooting for Fritz and his father Gustav to make it out the other side.

Although I have read multiple books in the genre, every time it shocks me how brutally mistreated people like Fritz and Gustav were. The book is a great (and well-researched account) of life in multiple concentration camps throughout the Second World War. Although a difficult subject, the book is compulsively readable as the writing and level of investment in the characters was great.

 

Ashes of Guilt

The next physical read I picked up this week, and is my current read as of this Sunday Summary, is Ashes of Guilt by Isabella Steele. I am reading this to review it before the end of the month. Needless to say, I am making all haste with this book!

As of today’s Sunday Summary post, I am exactly two thirds, or 66%, through the narrative. As a relatively short thriller, it is a very fast-paced read. Already, we have worked our way through the points in the synopsis, making me wonder what twists and turns I can expect later in the narrative. It’s a bit quicker-paced than I am used to, but I’m getting on with it reasonably well regardless. I’m looking to finish Ashes of Guilt in the next day or so, so watch this space for my thoughts.

 

The Flood

I finally pulled my finger out and finished The Flood by Rachel Bennett this week. If you’ve been reading my blogs, you’ll know that I’ve been chipping away at this audio for a little while. Back in 2019, I added The Flood to my reading list as the author is currently living locally. I wanted to pick up the book and support her. I pulled this book out of the TBR Jar last month to read. 

Overall, I enjoyed The Flood. Part of the reason it took me so long is that I’m not in the habit of listening to audiobooks that much. The vast majority of my reading is done either through physical books or e-books on my Kindle. I do enjoy audio though, and the narration of this book went a long way towards my enjoyment of it. The story is well told, and I enjoyed how the two timelines ultimately come together to give us the full picture at the end.

 

The Minders

Having finally finished The Flood, I moved on to my next audiobook whilst I was in full flow. The Minders is my first ever book by John Marrs. Although I’ve only listened to around an hour and a half of this audio as of this Sunday Summary post, I can say the experience so far is a good one.

I’m intrigued by the narrative and how the story is going to play out. As I’m not that far in, I haven’t got any ideas as to where the story is going to go. I’m looking forward to finding out though!

I’m going to try and keep up the momentum and continue listening to The Minders. Naturally, I want to try to finish the audiobook as close to the end of the month as I can. Fortunately, I have time off work next week, so I have every opportunity to listen to this audio. Let’s see how far I can get in the next week!

 

Books Discovered

There are no new books added to my reading list. Currently, the list sits at 199 still to work my way through. Just a few, eh?

Having floated at just over 200 for some time, I can thank the reading progress I’ve made this week in tipping this under. Let’s hope it stays that way!

 

Coming Up…

On Wednesday, I plan to share my review of Ashes of Guilt. The book launches on Thursday so I want to get it out there ahead of publication and hopefully build some excitement!

On Friday I’ll be parking the regular Friday feature in favour of my month-end review post for November. As always, I’ll be recapping my reading month and sharing all the books I’ve picked up in the prior 30 days.

Finally, I’ll be rounding up the week with a Sunday Summary post. Fingers crossed for a week just as productive as this one!

Have you read any of the books I featured today?

 

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Sunday Summary – 19th November 2023

Good evening everyone and welcome to another Sunday Summary post. If you’re off watching I’m A Celebrity, then I’ll understand! I’m watching it as I write, which is why this post is a bit shorter than normal!

So, what have I been up to this week? The first post I shared with you was a Top Ten Tuesday post, discussing which mainstream authors I have not (as yet) read any books by.

On Friday, I shared a First Lines Friday post. I kept my options open for this post, and in the end, I featured a book related to a series I read years ago and I’m looking forward to reading.

 

Books Read

 

Lost Solace

As of last week’s Sunday Summary post, I had only read the first chapter of Lost Solace by Karl Drinkwater.

I really enjoyed this break and change of genre. Having read books in Karl’s Tales of Lost Solace series, I already had some knowledge and high expectations of the book.

It didn’t disappoint! I read Lost Solace very quickly and I thoroughly enjoyed it! There is plenty of action to keep us entertained, and just the right amount of detail/jargon so as not to overwhelm a non-techy reader.

 

The Boy Who Followed His Father to Auschwitz

After Lost Solace, I moved on to my current read, The Boy Who Followed His Father to Auschwitz.

It’s a difficult book to read for its topic, but it is compulsively readable in style. I’m really enjoying this book. It’s a harrowing topic, and awful to think that so many people lived through the horrors this book touches on! Even so, this is a fantastic book.

As of this Sunday Summary, I’m 240 pages into the book. Ignoring the appendices, that leaves me with another 100 pages to go. Already so much has happened in the narrative. A part of me wants to find out what happens to the titular Gustav and his son, Fritz – how their story ends.

 

Books Discovered

I’ve added one book to my reading list this week as a result of Friday’s post. I want to re-read the whole series again, this time including The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

 

Coming Up…

On Wednesday, I plan to share a book review with you. This week, I’m reviewing The Appeal by Janice Hallett.

On Friday I’ll be back with a Well, I Didn’t Know That! post! It’s been a while since I made a habit of listening to some podcasts, so I might try to incorporate that into this feature. Stay tuned to find out more!

Last, but not least, I’ll be returning with a Sunday Summary post. As always I hope to have plenty to catch you up on in that post.

In the meantime, that’s all for this Sunday Summary post!

What have you read recently?

 

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Sunday Summary – 12th November 2023

It’s the end of another weekend (boo!) so that can only mean one thing – it’s time for my Sunday Summary! I hope you’ve all had a great week?

Aside from the 9-5, I’ve spent mine reading and preparing/sharing blog posts. Oh, last night I watched the last Hunger Games film – I really want to re-read those books now! Anyway, let’s get into my recap of the week’s posts so far.

My first blog post of the week was my Norsevember feature – Vikings of Mann: Ancient History or Modern Enigma. I really enjoyed writing this post, although it felt like I poured a lot more effort into than my usual content! As a post with some special meaning for me, it was great to be able to share it, and to take part in a reading event I have seen on the blogosphere in recent years.

I waived my usual Friday feature, Well, I Didn’t Know that! as the Vikings of Mann post is very similar in nature. Given I knew I’d already committed to the first post, I didn’t want to overwhelm myself by completing this feature on top. Instead, I moved onto the next in the rota, being a Shelf Control. In these posts, I take a look at upcoming books on my reading list and share why I’m excited to read them. For this week’s feature, I shared the first omnibus in an expansive fantasy series by an author I’m yet to try. I’m not allowed to start it until I’ve wrapped up some more of my ongoing series though. If you’re curious, check out that post to see what it is!

 

Books Read

 

The Vikings in the Isle of Man

As of last week’s Sunday Summary, I was 10% into The Vikings in the Isle of Man. Given that I wanted to finish this book as part of Norsevember, but also to include any relevant content in my blog post that went live on Wednesday, this was my priority of the week. I had also borrowed this book from the library, and it was due back on Wednesday. There was no pressure at all to get this finished up…

The Vikings in the Isle of Man isn’t an overly long book, and it provided some useful content for the blog post and taught me some things I didn’t know. It also expanded on some of the topics I originally explored in The Viking’s of the Irish Sea (read last week), so it was an ideal book to pick up.

In the nick of time, I finished The Vikings in the Isle of Man on Tuesday evening. I’m glad I chose to pick up a local history book and learn something new about my home.

 

The Shining

The second read I had ongoing as of last week’s Sunday Summary post is The Shining. As of that post, I was around 50% through the book.

After concluding The Vikings in the Isle of Man, I reverted back to prioritising The Shining. It’s not unexpected at all, but I really enjoyed this King novel! It’s been awhile since I picked up one of his horrors, and picking this up as reminded me just why I like his writing. I love how his horror plays upon natural and relatable things as opposed to delving too far into the realms of the fantastical. It makes his books feel all the more real and at the same time, more harrowing.

I certainly won’t be leaving it so long before I pick up another, regardless of the season! I am glad I picked this up around Halloween though – it felt apt.

 

Lost Solace

The last book I have picked up physically this week is Lost Solace by Karl Drinkwater.

As of this Sunday Summary post, I’ve only read the first chapter of the book so far. However, already the book draws on characters I have met through Karl’s Tales of Lost Solace series, which is set in the same universe. The writing style is also very familiar and easy to pick up, so I’m already settled in and ready to see where Lost Solace takes us! Given I’m not that far into the book, there really isn’t a whole lot I can say at this point. I’ll give you more of an update next week.

 

The Flood

In addition to the physical reads I’ve picked up above, I also listened to about 40 mins of The Flood by Rachel Bennett when waiting for Tesco’s Christmas slots to open. Yes, I legitimately put this on at 5:30am on Tuesday morning to stop myself falling back asleep and missing out on my Christmas food shop! It worked though… 

I had hoped to listen to a little bit more of the audiobook this week, but it wasn’t meant to be. I will be making more of an effort to listen to the last few hours this week.

 

Books Discovered

No news is good news once again this week – the reading list is still heading in the right direction.

 

Coming Up…

On Tuesday, I’m looking forward to sharing my top ten list of mainstream popular authors I haven’t read yet. There are some very popular authors I haven’t read books by, and you may be surprised. Or not, it depends how well you know me I guess!

On Friday I’ll be back with a First Lines Friday post! The last few times I have done this feature. I have set myself a challenge. I’m in the mood for keeping things open this time, so you’ll have to tune in on Friday to see which book I feature and why.

This time next week I’ll be returning with my Sunday Summary and all my bookish updates for the week. I hope you can return to check that post out too!

That’s all for this Sunday Summary though!

What are you reading?

 

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Sunday Summary – 5th November 2023

Happy Sunday folks and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary! Before we get into my reads for the week, let’s take a look at the posts I’ve shared so far.

Firstly, I shared my book review for Cinderella’s Crimes on Tuesday. That was the deadline for this review, and I was excited to finally get my thoughts together for you to read. Cinderella’s Crimes is a re-publication of a book initially published in the name of Pretty Deadly. As a dark fairytale reimagining, I feel this new title is more apt.

Secondly, I published my review of October’s reading in my monthly wrap-up post. October was a good month overall. I had quite a few review obligations, but I managed to make my way through those and pick up all my mood reads before the end of the month. I carried over my last two ongoing books to finish in November.

The final post on the agenda for this week (aside from this Sunday Summary) was my November Monthly TBR. It’s quite the list when you look at it at face value. However, it’s made to look more onerous than it is by the number of titles. When you compare page count to other months, it’s not far off!

 

Books Read

 

Killing For Company: The Case of Dennis Nilsen

As of my last Sunday Summary update, I had just 15% of this ebook to finish. I was hoping to get it all read by the end of Sunday night, but I ended up finishing it on Monday.

If you want a more comprehensive summary of the book, check out last week’s post. I’m not going to go too much into detail here given that this update constitutes about 45 minutes of reading time this week. In short, it is an interesting and intimate biography of one of the most notorious serial killers of modern times. It’s brutally honest in its capture of events and the state of mind of Dennis.

 

Vikings of the Irish Sea

I didn’t mention Vikings of the Irish Sea as a current read last week, as I was keeping it up my sleeve for an upcoming post. As of drafting my Sunday Summary last week, I was approaching halfway through the book.

I finished the book this week as it is forming the foundation for a post I will be sharing for Norsevember. Additionally, I’m reading a second book that focuses on Vikings in the Isle of Man (see below). However, for a more rounded research approach, I wanted to pick up Vikings of the Irish Sea to compare findings on the island versus the likes of Dublin, England and Wales as a comparison.

Vikings of the Irish Sea isn’t a particularly long book, but it provided good insight for my post and taught me quite a few things about Vikings that I didn’t know from local knowledge.

 

The Vikings in the Isle of Man

Here is that second book I mentioned above! In addition to Vikings of the Irish Sea, I’ve read the first 20 pages of The Vikings in the Isle of Man.

I appreciate that doesn’t sound like much, but when you consider, the book is only 140 odd pages in total in its entirety, it’s enough of a dent to have made a solid start. As I will be sharing my November post in just a few days, I am going to look to make considerably more progress in this book in the next day or two.

 

The Shining

The main book I have been reading over the course of the week is The Shining by Stephen King. After years of owning my copy and not picking it up during spooky season, I decided 2023 was the year. And, it’s been a little while since I picked up a horror novel.

I confess, for such an iconic story, I didn’t know much about The Shining before going into this book. I think that has worked well for me though. I’ve not had any preconceptions or been spoiled for the story, and I am enjoying watching it unravel.

Unsurprisingly, I am really enjoying the book. As of this Sunday Summary, I am 250 pages in, which is approximately 50%. I will be reading this in tandem with The Vikings in the Isle of Man, and I hope to finish the book very soon.

 

Books Discovered

Since adding Unmasked last week, there have been no new additions to the reading list!

 

Coming Up…

My first post of next week will be my contribution to Norsevember… a reading event hosted by Alex at Blogs and Spells for several years now. It’s the first time I’ve taken part in contributing a themed post. I contacted Alex as I wanted to write a post about Viking influence and history in the Isle of Man. This will be going live on Wednesday, and I’m really excited to be writing a different style of post.

This week would normally be the turn of my Well, I Didn’t Know That! feature post. However, as these are a little bit more involved and I don’t want preparation for this to clash with my Norsevember feature, I’m going to skip this one and instead share a Shelf Control. In my Shelf Control posts, I feature an upcoming read on my TBR and why I’m looking forward to picking it up. They’re a lot easier to prepare and post and given my commitment for earlier in the week, I think this is the better option! I’ll do a Well, I Didn’t Know That! feature next time.

Last, but not least, I will be back with another Sunday Summary post to round off the week. Fingers crossed I’ll have plenty of reading updates to share.

What have you read recently?

 

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Sunday Summary – 29th October 2023

Good evening from a rainy and dreary island! But that’s okay – as I’m inside, cosy with a cup of coffee and ready to dive into publishing this week’s Sunday Summary! As always, let’s take a look at the posts I published earlier in the week.

My first post this week was a Top Ten Tuesday feature. This week’s theme was ‘atmospheric reads’, and I had several different genres and bookish vibes to share as part of the post. If you haven’t checked it out already and are looking for reading inspiration, look no further.

On Thursday, I shared my review as part of the recent blog tour for Warrior Prince. I enjoyed this historical fiction novel which features Vikings in an Eastern European setting, as opposed to the English variants. It’s a fun, action-filled adventure, and if you want to find out more, my review is here.

 

Books Read

 

Killing For Company: The Case of Dennis Nilsen

I left off last week’s Sunday Summary post having concluded my ‘current reads’ at that time (I mentioned in that post that I had about 20 minutes of Surrounded by Idiots left to finish, which I did. I didn’t feel like that warranted a section in this Sunday Summary post.)

So, I picked up my next read on the TBR, Killing For Company by Brian Masters. You would like to think that based on the title and subject matter, it would be obvious that this book isn’t for the fainthearted or those with a sensitive stomach. However, in case that’s not clear, let me emphasise that now. This book isn’t for the fainthearted or those with a sensitive stomach. 

In this book, we explore the life, history and grisly murders Nilsen fully admits to committing between 1978 and his arrest in 1983. In the latter stages of the book, we start to address some of the psychological elements and potential diagnosis for Dennis as a means of explaining his actions… both the murders he did commit and for those he failed and/or chose not to go through with.

It has been a really interesting book, although I am sure it is not for everybody. As of this post, I have read 85% of the book and I have an estimated reading time of one hour to complete it. I’m hoping to get that done tonight!

 

The Flood

I have been off work this week – something I haven’t mentioned before now I don’t think. I have been busy though. In addition to catching up with jobs in the house, I have been out and tidying up the garden ready for winter. Whilst I’ve been doing these jobs, I have taken the opportunity to make progress with my second audiobook of the month.

The Flood is actually written by a local author, and it is for this reason I added it to my reading list. It is also the book I pulled out of my TBR jar this month, and I’m enjoying the story so far. There’s definitely a lot more going on under the surface of this narrative that I am yet to discover, and I’m looking forward to unravelling it all. The audio is also very good, so I can recommend the format!

As of this Sunday Summary update, I am coming up to 50% of the way through this audiobook. I may be back at work from next week, but I will be finding any opportunity I can to continue listening. 

 

Books Discovered

I have added a book called Unmasked by Ellie Middleton to my reading list this week. One of my LinkedIn connections has liked content by Ellie on a few occasions, and as a result, I have seen it too.

I’m interested in picking up Unmasked as it looks at ADHD and other forms of neurodivergence. I have a friend who was diagnosed with autism only when she was an adult (not surprising for girls given the ‘official’ symptoms or flags are those typically exhibited in boys and take no account of girls learning to mask them). As somebody who is interested to understand more about neurodivergence in general, I’d like to take a look at this book.

 

Coming Up…

With the end of October and the beginning of November falling into next week, you can expect my usual busy schedule.

My first post of the week though will be a review for Cinderella’s Crimes by Kelsey Josund. I have a deadline to share my review on Tuesday, so that’s when you can expect my thoughts on this fairytale reimagining that I read last week.

After that post has gone live, I will be kicking into gear with my usual monthly wrap-up post, and then my monthly TBR for November. mMy intention is for the wrap-up to go live on Thursday and my TBR on Saturday. I hope you can join me for both of those!

And, as always, I will be back at the same time next week with another Sunday Summary update post.

Now, I don’t know about you, but my plan is to take a cup of tea to bed and finish my current read.

What are your plans for this evening?

 

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First Lines Friday – 26/05/2023

The last time I brought you a First Lines Friday post, it was a bank holiday weekend. It just so happens that the same can be said again! If you’re looking for a fantastic author to pick up this weekend, I have a great feature in today’s post.

This week, I set myself the challenge of featuring a medical, non-fiction novel. I had just added one to my TBR when I set this challenge. I teased featuring it here, but that would be boring and lack imagination! Instead, I’m bringing you a book that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from the description of ‘non-fiction medical’. It’s full of humour and wit, yet insightful.

So, let’s check it out!

 

You know what it’s like when you’re cutting up a dead body. No, of course you don’t. It’s a perverse and horrific thing that should only ever be experienced by coroners and gangland criminals. Unless of course you’re one of the 9,000 eighteen-year-olds who sign up to medical school in the UK every year. For them, it’s just what you do each Friday morning.

‘Wear your worst shirt and trousers,’ advised a friendly second year before our first dissection. ‘Underwear too. Put on the same stuff every week, then burn it at the end of the year.’ I imagined this was because they’d be getting sprayed with skull-water or stained by lung fragments, but it was actually around 2 per cent less disgusting than that – it was the stench.

 

 

 

Undoctored – Adam Kay

 

Genre: Non-fiction

Pages: 274

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Orion Publishing Co

Publication Date: 15 Sept 2022

 

Goodreads – Undoctored

Adam Kay’s secret diary from his time as a junior doctor This is Going to Hurt was the publishing phenomenon of the century. It has been read by millions, translated into 37 languages, and adapted into a major BBC television series. But that was only part of the story.

Now, Adam Kay returns and will once again have you in stitches in his painfully funny and startlingly powerful follow-up, Undoctored: The Story of a Medic Who Ran Out of Patients. In his most honest and incisive book yet, he reflects on what’s happened since hanging up his scrubs and examines a life inextricably bound up with medicine. Battered and bruised from his time on the NHS frontline, Kay looks back, moves forwards and opens up some old wounds.

Hilarious and heartbreaking, horrifying and humbling, Undoctored is the astonishing portrait of a life by one of Britain’s best-loved storytellers.

 

My Thoughts…

I have already read a couple of books by the author, Adam Kay.

The first of those I picked up is his better known novel, This Is Going to Hurt. That is the story of how Adam became a junior doctor. I then read the slightly shorter, but equally witty, T’was the Nightshift Before Christmas. They are full of laughter and heartwarming stories. But they also bring tears. These books are as much of an emotional rollercoaster as the job can be in itself. They are candid in their insight into daily trials of being a medical professional.

Although I have yet to read Undoctored, I expect this book to be much the same as its predecessors. If that is the case, then it is a promising five star prediction! Although the genre of the book is non-fiction and set in a medical setting, these books are far from dry. The author has a fantastic way of getting his message across in a way that employs humour to do so.

As always, I’m looking forward to giving this book a try!

Have you read Undoctored, or any of the other books by Adam Kay I mentioned in this post? Did you enjoy today’s First Lines Friday post? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Sunday Summary – 20th November 2022

Hello, hello – welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary update post. I hope you have had a fantastic week because I’m really excited to tell you about this week’s progress. Personally, it has been a good and productive one!

At the beginning of the week, I shared my review of Warrior of Mercia by MJ Porter. It was a pleasure to take part in this blog tour, as I have done so for the first two books of the series as well! This book lived up to every single one of my expectations. If there are further books in the series, I will be jumping on the bandwagon very quickly!

Later in the week, I shared a First Lines Friday post. I will hold my hands up here and say I made a bit of a boo-boo. I forgot to schedule this post in advance. The post was sat in my notes and ready to be edited and scheduled, but I just hadn’t done that bit. As a result, I shared it on Friday night after I’d noticed my error. Apologies if you were looking out for it earlier in the day.

 

Books Read

Babel

This week I made fantastic reading progress with Babel by R.F. Kuang. Ironically, I was partly motivated to read this book because I was excited to pick up my next read… one that I ended up DNF’ing quite quickly. More on that one in a moment. In my last Sunday Summary update, I was 172 pages into Babel. 

It was good to finally pick up Babel and stick with it. Because I have been juggling commitments with blog tours of late, I have been picking up and putting this book down quite a bit. Now that I had no further commitments, I was able to dedicate the due time and attention Babel deserved – and boy, did it deserve it! The fact that I read the remaining 370 odd pages in just a handful of days testifies how much I enjoyed this read. It is the kind of book that has you thinking about it even when you’re not actively reading it.

What I found refreshing about Babel is that it doesn’t read that strongly as a fiction novel. It is quite academic in tone. As someone who was interested in language and linguistics growing up, I enjoyed the little translation references dotted throughout. This book also has a reference to the Manx language in it, which surprised me! Even locally, it is only thought that about 2% of the population of the island is fluent in it. I know some passing phrases such as good morning (moghrey mie) and good evening (fastyr mie), but that’s about all.

 

Malice

Next, I picked up the book I have been really excited to read – Malice by John Gwynne. I have shared details about this book on my blog of late, particularly commenting on how long it has been on my reading list, and that it is probably the oldest book on my TBR.

Not anymore. I spent about three days struggling through the first 40 pages. When you compare that with my reading average earlier in the week of nearly 100 pages a day, that’s dreadful. The introduction to this book just didn’t grab me at all. When I first picked up this book many moons ago (before I started my blog), I only made it to chapter three. My perception can’t have been much better, because I put it down then as well.

I’m enjoying a really good reading streak at the moment, and I fear that if I try to struggle with Malice, I will lose it. Instead, I decided to DNF this book for good and swiftly moved on to the next (and last physical) book on my November reading list.

 

Dear Child

I started Dear Child quite late this morning, and I’m already 10% through the book. The introduction captured my attention immediately. I’m interested to learn about the dynamic of the characters and how events have come to pass to date. There’s not much to say about this particular book at this time, because I have only spent around 30 to 40 minutes reading it so far. I look forward to sharing a further update with you next week!

 

Books Discovered

Once again, no news is good news! With the reading progress I’ve made, I have effectively ticked a couple off of my reading list, and there are no new additions. The list is going in the right direction for once!

 

Coming Up…

Early next week, I have decided to share another book review with you. As I have quite a long list of books I have read, but not yet reviewed, I decided to knock one of those off the list. The book I am featuring next week is Red Rising by Pierce Brown. If you enjoy the science-fiction and/or dystopia genres, I strongly recommend checking out my review on Tuesday!

Later in the week, it is the turn of my Shelf Control regular feature post. This week’s feature is a bit of a funny one. I decided to add this book to my reading list as a result of playing the original Assassin’s Creed game as a teenager – I wanted to learn more about the facts behind some of the characters. If you are intrigued, then stick around and check out my post on Friday.

As always, I will be back next Sunday evening to share my reading progress with you in my next Sunday Summary post!

Until next time, have a wonderful week!

 

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Sunday Summary – 13th November 2022

Good evening and welcome to another Sunday Summary update! This week I’ve been busy reading and preparing for yet another blog tour, at the same time as having a busy working week. I’ve also been fitting in more TV time than usual as I’m currently watching I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! I don’t normally tend to watch much television during the week, so I’ve had to make a conscious effort to fit this in. I didn’t watch the last two series set in the UK; I’m glad to see it finally back in Australia.

Aside from all that, I have shared my typical two blog posts with you this week.

On Tuesday, I decided to take part in the Top Ten Tuesday post of the week. For that post, we had the decision to feature our top ten books as part of a series we would like to begin, continue with, or finish. Given that I need absolutely no help in starting new series, I put the emphasis on those I would like to finish. The thought process here was that it will inspire me to pick up those that I am close to the end of. Therefore it would result in a reduction of my ‘ongoing list’. I feature some fantastic series in this post and already have some I’d like to read soon!

Later in the week, I shared my Shelf Control regular feature post. This month I seem to be featuring a lot of historical fiction novels, and this post is no exception. I will admit I made a bit of a gaff when I bought this book. I didn’t realise it was part of a series! That said, I’m still going to read the book anyway and I will base my decision of going backward based on whether I enjoy the last book or not! If you want to find out which book I’m talking about, you can find a link to that post above.

 

Books Read

In last week’s Sunday Summary post, I was up to page 154 of Babel by R.F. Kuang. I had to set the book aside the week prior in order to read another book ahead of a blog tour post. This week, I had a small window in which to make a little more progress, before I had to put this down once again for another commitment. On Sunday night I read another chapter of Babel, taking me up to chapter 10, 172 pages in.

My next commitment was reading Warrior of Mercia by M.J. Porter. If that name rings any bells with you, it may be because I read the first two books in her Eagle of Mercia series earlier this year. When I saw the advertisement for this tour, I knew I wanted to continue with the series and the unique perspective we get in these books.

And this book didn’t disappoint. The main character is unique in that he does not relish his role as a warrior. If given the choice, he is a man who chooses to heal rather than hurt. However, the progression we have seen in his books relates to his acknowledging that he has a part to play in both roles.

I’ve been reading Warrior of Mercia for most of this week, finishing the book last night. I enjoyed this every bit as much as I expected, and I can’t wait to share my imminent review with you!

I was hoping to have gone back to Babel again before the end of the week, however that hasn’t panned out. Now I have no more interruptions, so this will be my main read for next week. I’m keen to move on as I’m looking forward to picking up another book on my November TBR. I saw a TikTok video/review of this particular book yesterday. It suggests that Malice by John Gwynne is very like A Game of Thrones. It is also been on my reading list for a very long time, so I want to jump in and make a start. Rather than allowing myself to “pick up the two at once”, (I will not read both at the same time) I’m going to make myself finish Babel first.

What also hasn’t worked out this week is listening to more of Queen of Our Times by Robert Hardman. I’ve had the opportunity, I just haven’t taken it up. I need to make more of an effort to make this a habit, and that is my aim for next week.

 

Books Discovered

Would you believe I walked into a bookshop today and didn’t purchase anything for myself? I wish to be showered in praise for the mighty accomplishment of discipline. It’s not something I normally have.

Mostly when it comes to food, but also books!

 

Coming Up…

My first blog post next week is my blog tour review of Warrior of Mercia by M.J. Porter. Typically I will try and prepare my blog posts a week in advance. But for obvious reasons, I haven’t been able to do so completely. As my tour post goes live on Tuesday, I’ll be finishing this off on Monday night and getting this ready to go live!

Later in the week, I will be sharing another regular feature. This time, it is the turn of my First Lines Friday post. I have tried something different in terms of book selection this week, and I hope it pays off!

Lastly, I’ll be back again this time next week with another Sunday Summary update for you. As usual, I’ll be talking about the books I’ve read and any added to my reading list (although hopefully none). Lastly, I’ll share details of what posts you can expect on the blog next week.

Until next time, have a fabulous week ahead!

 

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